tv Martin Bashir MSNBC December 19, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm EST
and here's what's happening. jim jung il is dead. now the fifth largest army and a stockpile of nuclear weapons are up for grabs. plus, about-face. >> as the senate acts, i'm committed to bringing the house back. our members oppose the senate bill. >> boehner's latest blunder. merry christmas to you, mr. speaker. >> thank you, everyone. thank you. santa! >> 'twas the week before christmas and the candidates play naughty, not nice. it is just over two weeks to iowa and just over two hours to a showdown. much more to come on both. we begin with a major international story. one that could have serious repercussions for national security and global stability. kim jung il, leader of north
korea for 17 years suffered a heart attack while travelogue a train. he was 69 and been unwell for sometime. his rule was by a bizarre cult of the personality. luxury andy is cresy and a love of whisky and an attitude towards the united states, particularly on the issue of nuclear weapons. his death moved north koreans to weep openly in the streets despite the repression he handed down to them. his third son, kim jong un, will lead the country. the entire world must wait with baited breath to see how this 27-year-old lover of james bond movies will lead the hermit nation. for more on the global states, the senior fellow at the brookings institute. we have a nuclear expert. welcome to you both. the transition from kim jung ili
think a year ago is incomplete. she in his late 20s and educated in switzerland. is he a danger to stability in this part of the world. >> he's a danger in the sense that he's ran unknown. i don't have anything particular against him and frankly i'm glad for the change. kim jung il, even by the standards of north korea, was a poor leader and presided over the things you said and the mass starvation where he did middle to look to save his own starving people and did not dismantle the system under his father. just a bad, bad period and the nuclearization of north korea was one of the great concerns. i'm prepared to roll the dies with a hope for a better future. this guy is young and unproven and we don't know his level of
political support within north korea. the one thing that could be worse is a civil war or a coo or counter coo where the custodianship is at risk. authorities a throw of the dies and ip hopeful that the odds are with us. >> this is as michael said a major nuclear power, the fifth largest in the world. north korea test fires a missile off the eastern coast before the announcement of kim jung il's death. a symbolic move. should we be alarmed? >> not by the missile firing and the south korean military believes it was a preplanned test and short range missile and didn't really threaten anyone. they don't have missiles of sufficient power nor do they have a warhead that is small enough that they can reach the united states. we have nothing to fear there. if you are concerned about three things, one in the immediate
transition to this rule. north korea will be paranoid, a freud of a south korean invasion or u.s. invasion. they will be puffing up to make themselves look more powerful than they are. we don't want anything to go wrong and an incident that flashes into a war that no one wants. as michael pointed out, over the next couple of months, there will be a shake down for the new collective leadership that was put in place. kim jung un may feel he needs to take a provocative act and again, we are going to have to be thes to show restraint and not let it escalate. third, if the new regime consolidates, they will either then be willing to come back to the bargaining table and negotiate like the west did, but we have all the cards and the aid and the trade and the assistance they need. they might feel it's time for them to demonstrate their nuclear prowess.
there is rumors about a third test that was conducted in the past. you will have to watch for that. >> jay carney briefing moments ago said the administration is monitoring the situation and been in close contact with the president. isn't china the real worry? isn't it china that has been north korea's trading partner and the government of course is expressing sadness at the death of kim. >> the way i put it, china may present an opportunity to offer reassuring words to north korea and sound strange to say, but at this moment, the last thing they need or some of the leaders need is any perception that would be incorrect, but possible to form inside their kingdom as you mentioned. somehow we are looking to exploit the situation. i do think we might want to join forces with china and south korea to say listen, no one is trying to do that. we won't reward you with the type that joe mentioned until we
see progress on the denuclearization front. on top of that, we are not going to try to profit from this transition. that might be a beautiful message to send. there could be tense people inside right now. >> for will come to that. joe was mentioning the possibility of civil unrest. the people have been pictured crying in the streets. it appears to have been orchestrated from where i see it. suffering and survival are about the most people can hope for. you remember the famine of 1994 where it left an estimated two million people dead. is there a possibility of a dissident up rising of the people rejecting kim jong un as the leader? >> in this case i say no. the chances of the north korean people with the degree to which they were cutoff from the world and communicating with each other, the chances of any movement being sparked at a grass roots level are as close
to are z as i can imagine. having said that, i could be wrong and on this particular point there is a chance of squabbling or fighting from within the leadership. that could be something that leads to other unis getting engaged and taking sides with the preferred factions. that's the unrest i'm worried about. >> do you agree with michael that there is this committed deference towards government in that nation literally for decades. the dissidence is outlawed in the psyche of its people. >> the pictures of people crying, some of that is certainly for show, but it is true that this is a cult. this is a cult where millions of people in the country do actually believe that their leaders are demi gods. they are leading them and making them the center nation in the world. that is how many people view
their nation as bizarre as it seems to us. the lack of interconnectivity and the lack of social communications and norms that we are used to. this is a country that not only hasn't joined the 21th century. most of this country doesn't have electricity. it's that kind of a situation that makes it highly unlikely that there will be a mass social unrest. at least the kind that we have seen in the arab spring or the demonstrations in russia. that's not going to happen. one final point. the united states is in a strong position here. not only did the president of the united states and the secretary of state come back from almost a month of visits to this region of the world, but relations with all the countries in asia and a good working relationship with china and with russia. one of the senior state department officials, secretary of state wendy sherman who is an expert, we are pretty well positioned.
the only floor is our assistant secretary of defense for near east asia. mark success held for political reasons in the senate. he should lift the hold and we need all the hans and military hands on deck. >> the final question if i may, one expert said that north korea is very skilled in tactics so whenever there is domestic trouble, they fabricate an international crisis. should we expect as north korea moves forward from the beloved leader, the son of kim jung ilmay seek crisis? >> it's possible, but what i worry about most is that the united states and other countries will try to be so cautious in dealing with the new lead they're we don't spark his imagination to think about ways he might lead them in a different direction. i would like to see them go in the direction of vietnam that will take an openness on our part.
it's not their instincts to reform. i'm not saying it's likely, but i hope we can send a message that we are willing to work with them. >> offering a much more optimistic view of the future and thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. boehner's blunder and what a year it's been for mr. speaker. [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy. one a day, gummies for grown-ups.
>> i am committed to bringing the house back that they can do within 24 hours to deal with whatever the senate does. there is absolutely no interest in our part in trying to be strike being this. >> his speaker boehner facing the cameras alone ahead of tonight's house vote. a change of heard to say the least and lacking his usual strut and swagger. >> if you and your colleagues were so against this extension, why did you not raise the red flag with the republican colleagues who voted for this? >> we expressed our reservations about what the senate was doing. >> worry that, the gridlock on capitol hill continues. for more on this, i am joined by luke russert and chief washington correspondent with the latest. luke, if i can begin with you. the surprise at what happened, isn't this john boehner's patent.
he reaches an agreement as he did with the president and the moment tea partysquealing, he r from the deal. >> sorry that the criticism. >> sorry that the patent? >> it's an interesting thing. you have to look objectively. if you look at it objectively, john boehner himself has been a deal maker. he worked with ted kennedy on no child left behind and he himself would like to take the deal and make the deal. it was very conservative after the last election and he doesn't like a short-term banding or fix. if he has to represent that constituency, he would not like a deal like this that is too short-term. >> massachusetts republican senator scott brown called house republicans irresponsible and wrong for planning to vote down
the payroll tax extension and cracks in the foundation here again. >> don't forget that dean helder, a republican senator from nevada also just said that the house should pass the bill as well as a republican senator from indian a. a lot of senators should say you should move forward on this. they were privy to the pain staking negotiations it took to get the extension. they want it for a year. the reason why is they don't lineup. republicans want to cut benefits and freeze federal salaries. democrats wanted a tax on and they agreed to have higher lending fees at fannie and freddie. make no doubt about it, 90% of the senate supported this on saturday. a lot of folks thought it would be a rubber stamp. a lot of them had a different idea. >> there have been accusation that is the president folded on the pipeline.
an agreement was reach and what is the response to what is expected to come in in a few short hours? >> right now the administration's response is the same as senate leader harry reid's response which is the house has to act. they put up the countdown clocks and calling attention to the house's failure to act on this. they have the advantage of being able to point to 89 votes in the senate to scott brown and dean helder and say look, this is a consensus product. you don't get much more consensus than 89 votes in the united states senate. the problem for speaker boehner and i think it is his problem. he wants to solve it and he's got a tea party caucus in the house of representatives. they are not satisfied with this. a republican house member said i have never seen the caucus so angry and irrational. politically brave and politically stupid.
republicans are behind the eight ball because they can point clearly and say the reason why your payroll taxes go up if they do is because of the house republicans. >> what does minority leader mitch connell do now. does he stand with the deal he struck with harry reid or walk away from that and run to hospitals is friend speaker boehner? >> mitch mcconnell has been a good ally to speaker boehner throughout the years. that's why you could assume that mitch mcconnell would not have made a deal if he didn't think that john boehner wanted to move forward with it in the house. i think mitch mcconnell will sit back and see how the house nl handles this. he is far out on a with this deal. i'm not sure how he can walk away, but he is going to try to do it from this point forward and anything he can do to avoid under cutting john boehner and making the problems worse.
>> as we know, 160 million americans stand by and wait to hear if their taxes are going to go up. nbc's luke russert, thank you very much for joining us. newt gingrich from professor to sheriff. stay with us. . >> just in the capital police to arrest him? >> if you had to or instruct the justice department to send the u.s. marshal. just one phillips' colon health probiotic cap a day helps defends against occasional constipation, diarrhea, gas and bloating. with three strains of good bacteria to help balance your colon. you had me at "probiotic." [ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. i took some steep risks in my teens. i'd never ride without one now. and since my doctor prescribed lipitor, i won't go without it for my high cholesterol and my risk of heart attack. why kid myself? diet and exercise weren't lowering my cholesterol enough.
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an out of touch 1 percenter. they asked about this picture with money spilling out of their pockets. take a look at what romney said in response. >> we were successful in raising the first fund. about $37 million. i know there is going to be every effort to put free enterprise on trial. to attack free enterprise and those who believe profit is good. >> profit is good. does that remind you of a film at a fame our character? greed is good? >> for does remind me of that. no one is going to attack free enterprise. this president has been fighting the past jobs bill. he wants to create more free enterprise and more jobs for people. mitt romney has two problems on this. he talks about his private business and as something that should qualify him to be president. he wasn't making cars.
like his father was, he was a venture capitalist and bought up companies and broke them down into parts and sold them off. he didn't challenge chris wallace on the information. four of the ten major companies that they invested in went bankrupt and according to the l.a. times, they made money, lots of money on three of the four practices. >> this has been romney joining here, the president in saving the auto industry of the country also had to lay off workers and had to close the companies. that's what happens. >> that is part of what happens. i'm what i'm suggesting is that mitt romney would lead you to believe he was doing something in the private sector that he was not. he had a partner of his recently who said look, i never considered what we were doing at bane capital to be about job
creation. it was about wealth creation. he would let the public to believe he was doing something in the private tenthor other than building. >> that's what venture capitalism is. romney is taking it to the front-runner in the media and calling him unreliable and zany. romney picked up the register's endorsement. his super pack is out spending the campaign and it's 34-1. just a few weeks ago it seemed romney was writing off iowa. do you think he could pull off a win there? >> no doubt that romney is all in in iowa. he has to be. he has seen the lead in new hampshire shrink. gingrich has come on there and john huntsman move up in the polls. romney needs to do well in iowa. he can no longer act like he is not competing there. the super pack is pouring in a lot of money and he spent time there. obviously he got the
endorsement. he is all in. he needs to do well. >> you focused your attention. when gingrich began to rise in the polls, you began salivating at the prospect that you might face newt gingrich? >> not at all. we think this is an incredibly flawed and fairly weak within field. with gingrich, you have someone who has the history that he has and a lot of people have been talking about and you have the original tea partier. he was one of the first who wanted to end and open le talking about ending medicare. you have someone who is a perpetual flip flopper and we will face one of the people and probably somebody else. ron paul is coming on and he is seeing his numbers improve. they are flawed because particularly in this air where we talk about income, what they want to do is pile more tax
breaks on the wealthiest americans. >> thank you so much for joining us this week. stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. >> thank you, everyone. thank you. santa! [ male announcer ] if you think tylenol is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain... two pills can last all day. ♪ when you pour chunky beef with country vegetables soup over it... you can do dinner. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do. four minutes, around four bucks. ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai,
we use our american express open gold card to further those connections. last year we took dozens of trips using membership rewards points to meet with farmers that grow our sweet potatoes and merchants that sell our product. vo: get the card built for business spending. call 1-800-now-open to find out how the gold card can serve your business. wild, zany, or just plain wow. choose your own adventure in today's top lines. >> would you send the capital police to arrest him? >> if you had to or instruct the justice department to send the u.s. marshal. >> michele bachmann? >> she doesn't like muslims. she hates muslims. par a >> i don't hate muslims. i love the american people. >> this whole idea that the whole muslim world is
responsible for this and they are attacking us because bee r free and pos perous is just not true. >> that's just not true. what she said is factually not true. i never lobbied under any circumstance. >> some ought to have faxes before they make allegations. >> what he said sounded condescending and like he was talk down to me although i was one of his students. >> sometimes congressman bachmann doesn't get her facts straight. >> it was to work as a historian. we find it's $1.6 million. >> i call on them to give them one back to the american people. >> he has been unreliable in the settings. zany, i wouldn't think you call mirrors in space to particularly practical or a lunar colony. >> has the president decide what's a good law and i'm going to obey the court and what's a bad law.
>> that depends on the severity of the case. thank you, everyone, thank you. santa! let's get right to the professor at georgetown university. in a special appearance from las vegas, msnbc's crystal ball looking stunning and ken vogel from the offices in arlington. newt gingrich said he would cent federal marshals to round up judges whose decisions he doesn't like and bring them before congress and he lays us at the feet of lincoln of jefferson. what's your take on gingrich's judicial subpoenas and his history as he uses it to explain this argument? >> cheer lay them at the feet in so far as he points to slavery. they were totally subservient, human beings to the people who
may have been slave owners like jefferson. this is a ludicrous interpretation or misinterpretation of the subpoena power of the presidency. it strikes me as odd. the constructionist who is talk about dealing with everyone in the law and every i will be dotted and t will be crossed. the arbitrary power will be able to be exercised by a strong presidency that is able to overrule other parts of our democracy. checks and balances. that's why we have a judiciary, a legislature and of course we deal with the elected offices of the executive. >> professor, there is a balance. >> i read your books. you make the point about this division of powers. i am from the outside and here's mr. gingrich suggesting that the president should overrule. what should help with citizens united. if president obama doesn't like it, he will arrest the judges?
>> that's insane and criminal and not even practical. what about the lunacy of having the colonization of the american law under the foot of a president who because he doesn't like something will then have the marshals go out and arrest the supreme court justice. this is something from hollywood. >> we learned that the supreme court will hear the arguments i believe in late march. according to gingrich, if president obama doesn't like the ruling, he sends the federal marshals down and arrest justices scalia and thomas? you tell me. >> that's right. we shoulding is that. frankly this is the kind of executive branch power grab that would make kim jung il proud. it's crazy. i have been critical of the bush administration and about their consolidation of executive branch power. i have been critical of the obama administration. this is a whole other level.
it strikes me as so fundamentally against what a constitutional conservative is supposed to stand for. it's another zany idea. >> ron paul called gingrich's proposal on a front to the separation of powers. is the call to arrest judges on the red meat that the iowa conservatives like. >> potentially. they have been litigated in iowa in the form of a supreme court decision on gay marriage that conservatives did not like and sought to repeal and sought to vote these judges out of office. it's yet another example, i think, of ron paul looking like the reasonable one. ron paul saying that this is a violation of the separation of powers independent of the principals or lack there of. most people get that and see ron paul's argument as a valid one. ron paul calling out michele bachmann on some of the statements that she made that have been taken as islam phobic.
a lot of people can agree with that and conservatives that err on the side of civil libertarian that can understand and appreciate that. ron paul is surging as a result. that's from some of this speaking reason and isn't it odd to see him in that role and the sort of mainstream regard here. >> professor dyson, you point out the lunacy of the expert and his idea for judges. it appears too to affect his performance. a new national poll from cnn shows that gingrich is falling into a tie with mitt romney. do you think that romney with all of his attack ads and ron paul's attack ads begins to have an effect and we are seeing that? >> absolutely. two things. steady as she goes, mitt romney. he is not too fussed and mussed. like his hair, he stays in place and goes forward into the
universe of political possibility by saying i will do what i do and be who i am and despite the other stuff, the flip flopping and he remain steady. people rise above and fall beneath, but he stays there. ron paul comparatively speaking is looking like the rational reasonable alternative in this field and that's a pretty scary thing. this was christmas and hanukkah and kwanzaa and not halloween. if are ron paul to look that good suggests another twilight zone. stay with us. we have to go to commercial. we will talk about the do nothing congress in 2012. stay with us. >> we have honest differences with the president and he knows it. the fact is that i worked all year to try to take the differences and set them aside. we're kind of a quiet couple.
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it's december, season of christmas, hanukkah and kwanzaa and of course halloween if you have been listening to newt gingrich. take a look at congress. we are back with the triple panel. crystal, if i can come back to you, we are just about three hours from a house vote expected very, very soon on extending the payroll tax holiday. where are we going here. >> it's not looking good. i can't answer that in terms of where we are going. they don't want to see it extended for two months, but they need it for a year. that's what we could have had and they took the position they didn't want the payroll tax cut
at all. their position is ridiculous and i will tell you what it is about. nothing to do with the payroll tax cut. they realize that this payroll fight has not gone down well in terms of messaging and they are loathed to revisit it in two months and hand the president another messaging war about who is fighting for the middle class. >> isn't that right? the republican house is giving the president a gift, making his argument that he is behind the middle class while they are playing politics. >> in this case, you are right. in the other two cases where we have seen recent brinksmanship, most think there will be a deal before january 1st when the tax cut expired. they will push it to the brink and it will be a last minute deal. there will be people who are
fearing they will lose this tax cut in the previous two case where is we saw this in a high profile way where the house gop and the tea party caucus of the house and able to force and delay a deal and force last minute concessions that got them over the nuchl a case of rizing the debt ceiling and the government budget to fund the government. in the case of seeing more tax cuts and more spending cuts, in this case not so much. that puts them at odds with president obama and democrats supporting. this i think is a loser for them. >> we're charlie rangle on the show on friday and he pointed out the utter hypocrisy of
conservatives who brandish their christianity to get elected and disregard the poor and low income when they are in office. that's a fair criticism. >> the poor you shall have with you always. that was a lamentation. it was an unusually honest acknowledgement that human beings will continue to have radical inequality in terms of income. the least of these, as you do it until the least of these, you do it unto me. you believe in that ethic, but those who are, you are slaughtering the faith and savaging the theology of compassion and not giving over to the most basic needs of the people which is to be supported. the tax kit to look like you are opposing that, obama seizes the upper hand and looks like he is in defense of the vulnerable
middle classes and the poor people about whom very few people speak. >> crystal, the professor talks about the president being behind the poor. these are no longer fringe members of society. it's half the population. 50% of poem are poor in this country. >> that's right. it's a troubling trend and i'm a bit loathed to bring this back. >> for you look at the plans being advocated, it's scary. he wants to give a 2.3 million dollar tax cut to the top 1% and nothing to lower income folks. they pay lip service to helping the middle class and there is nothing in their plans that would help the middle class. there is nothing that would help the poor. there is a major major source of hypocrisy within the gop. >> do you think this position or be it fought out in the congress
is actually going to damage the republican candidates as we move towards these primaries and so on. >> potentially if they are asked about it, but i think that in the polls you have to separate congress from the various presidential candidates and president obama. congress is just so unpopular right now. it's wise to kind of stay away from them and let them fight it out. frankly president obama takes that tax sometimes and i think probably we will see that with this payroll tax cut. he went in and negotiated with the senate and republicans a deal that he was comfortable with. let it look bad for the house republicans and he can stay above the fray. >> indeed. professor michael eric dison and crystal ball in las vegas. thanks for joining us. we will get more reaction to the debacle from congress in a moment. here's brian sullivan with a
cnbc market wrap. good afternoon. >> good afternoon and thank you very much. we have been losing steam all afternoon long. bank of america down below $5 a share dragging down the dow industrials and the s&p and the nasdaq that are down as well. making concerns about the possibility of a break up and at least he mentioned it which is something his predecessors don't call and would not even do. they are losing steam. santa claus apparently stuck in the chimney and no rally today. we will take a short break and martin bashir will be back after this. hen you pour chunky beef wh country vegetables soup over it... you can do dinner. four minutes, around four bucks. campbell's chunky. it's amazing what soup can do. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy.
we are just a few short hours away from the house voting on the bill put forward this weekend by the senate to extend the payroll tax holiday. yet, what would have been a short-term resolution to the fight on capitol hill may not have resolved anything, as there's now strong fear that the bill would be voted down on the floor of the house this evening. for more on this, i'm joined now
by congressman john yamt, a democrat from the state of kentucky. good afternoon, sir. >> hello, martin. >> would you say this is the most disastrous moment in the history of john boehner's speakership? >> well, i don't think there's any question about it. here's a leader who on saturday said this was a good deal and that house republicans ought to support it. 24 hours later, he's recanted on that. and the amazing thing is that in order to pass this, assuming that all the democrats vote for it, and i think most democrats will, he only has to get 26 out of 245 of his members to support it. he can't even control 11% of his own conference. i mean, that's a pretty significant show of weakness, as far as i'm concerned. >> just 26, and he can't pull it off? >> he can't pull it off. that's what's amazing about this. >> so we're counting down the vote in the house this evening, as you know. where do you stand on how the house should vote? are you in favor of the short-term extension or are you with speaker boehner in saying this should be a longer-term arrangement. >> i think everybody thinks it ought to be a longer-term
arrangement. i think two-month policies are disastrous. but what would be more disastrous, both for the individual americans, 160 million americans working and several million unemployed is that we go to january 1st and their taxes are increased and the unemployment benefits are cut off for 2 million to 3 million people. that's more disastrous. the other thing about the two-month extension, even though i hate doing it, is that it does give us time to actually think through some of the pay-fors that would be required. i mean, the republicans were proposing giving -- making some major structural changes in unemployment program, cutting some vital funding for some government agencies, things that you shouldn't do when you're up against a deadline, like we are now. >> i keep hearing congressional members invoking the american people, their favorite phrase, your favorite phrase. you're a member of congress. but what about the 160 million american people whose taxes are going to go up $1,000?
>> absolutely. this is -- this would be a very significant disaster for all those people who are struggling to get by. i mean, we saw last week that the average ceo salary in the country increased 27% last year and we aren't willing to give a slight tax break to the hard-working americans who have seen their standard of living decline over the last decade. i mean, the choice is very obvious, and you know, what's surprising to me is that john boehner and the republicans in the house, particularly, say they don't want to compromise. john boehner came to my district a couple months ago, made a speech and said, we shouldn't compromise. we should try to find common ground and then act on that and then stand on our principles on everything else. that's a surefire recipe for getting nothing done. and the 160 million people who are looking at the prospect of having their taxes increased don't really care about whether you call it compromise or common ground, they just want us to act. >> a final one-word answer if i may ask you for one, sir. are you voting yes or no at 6:30
this evening? >> yes. >> congressman john yard muth, thank you very much, indeed. >> thank you, martin. >> we'll be right back to clear the air. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ deep breath] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
it's time now to clear the air. and despite record ratings of disapproval for the congress, there is an opportunity to celebrate political leadership today, albeit in a faraway country. on sunday morning, the first president of the czech republic passed away at the age of 75. unlike many who make high office the ultimate goal of their lives, he stumbled upon political leadership after years of opposing the communists. not by force, but in his role as a playwright. he satireized it.
his biting criticisms led to imprisonment, and even when he was released, he was constantly under surveillance. he was the living embodiment of shelley's observation that potatoes are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. but then in 1989, the velvet revolution enabled czechoslovakia to transition towards democracy, and the people only wanted to be led by one man. vaslav hovel never really wanted the office, but he recognized that he was then t man the peop wanted to take them forward. when the nation split in two, hovel made sure it was peaceful and he was the people's choice to preside over the new czech republic. president obama offered this assessment of president hovel r
the foundations of an empire, exposed the emptiness of a repressive ideology, and proved that moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon." every candidate desperately wants to be president, but the party itself isn't sure about any of them. because wanting the job is no qualification in itself. perhaps they could learn something from the life of the reluctant president, vaclav havel who died on sunday. thanks so much for watching. dylan ratigan is here. and dylan, are you looking forward to our joint holiday celebration this evening ? >> i am, indeed. you've made it very explicitly clear that your goal is to throw a joint event hosted by the two of us with your staff and my staff. >> but just before we do that, i wanted to express my thanks to our director, gena fellows, who just had a baby, recently, so isn't able to attend, but i